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Cost Effective and Easy to Install Weatherization Options

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To prevent cold air from entering your home during winter, and hot air from flowing in during summer, you need to close up the gaps in your windows to create a tight seal.

Not only will your home feel more comfortable, you will also lower your monthly energy costs with these inexpensive window weatherization tools.

Rope Caulk

Caulking is a method of weatherstripping that targets the crack, gap, hole, or opening that allows air to seep through. Basically it’s like sticking silly putty in the exposed area to seal it off. However, rope caulk provides a better stick, can weatherproof windows in any weather condition, and blends in with your decor. rope tape

Installation:

  • Clean, clean, clean the area where caulk will be used.
  • Peel of a lay of the rope caulk “beads” and divide it based on how much you need.
  • Press to seal.

Foam Tape

Foam tape is used to seal windows that slide or swing. It sticks to the edges or bottoms of windows to prevent air leakage when windows are closed.

Installation: Foam tape is easy to install and at less than $3 it is an inexpensive weatherization solution.foam tape

  • First, clean and dry the area  where the tape will be applied. If the area is dirty, wet, and/or cold, the tape won’t stick properly or it will easily loose its stickiness factor. It must be more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cut the amount of foam tape needed based on the length of window sides/bottom.
  • Remove the adhesive backing then press the tape into place to cover the area in need of sealing.

Shrink and Seal Window Kit

If you have scissors, a blow dryer, and $4 you can easily weatherproof windows with a Shrink and Seal Window kit. This kit will seal the whole window from the inside and increase the R-value, or insulating power, of the window by as much as 90%.

Installation: window kit

  • Again, you need to clean and dry the area before applying any sealing. You should also clean the insides of windows because you won’t be able to clean that area again until you remove the shrink film.
  • Cut the amount of shrink film needed. Cut enough film to cover the entire window (including some of the frame area).
  • Remove the backing from one side of the two-sided tape and stick it to the top, bottom, and sides of the window. After installing the tape, remove the adhesive backing from the other side.
  • Apply the shrink film around the window, gently stretching it as you work your way from one corner of the window to the other.
  • With the blow dryer on the highest setting, slowly move the dryer across the film to tighten it over the window. Don’t stand too close to the window while doing this, otherwise you’ll melt the shrink film.
  • Trim any film that’s left over.

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Attic Stair Covers Save Energy and Improve Air Quality

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Most attics are not well insulated, which depending on the time of year, causes them to be either extremely hot or attic stair cover1extremely cold. Attic doors are also not generally insulated, which allows for a tremendous amount of energy loss throughout the year. Even the tiniest gap around the attic door perimeter — as small as 1/32 (0.08 cm) — is like leaving a 5-square inch opening or window open all year!

Insulating the attic door with an attic stair cover is a light-weight, simple, and cost-effective way to reduce the amount of unwanted air infiltration from the attic into the home. It also improves indoor air quality by reducing allergen and dust flow from the attic.

The Attic Tent is easy to install. You just need to secure the Attic Tent in place with staples to the surface, and then add a bead of silicone caulk around the seam to create an airtight seal. It  provides an R-value of 6.6 and has been proven to reduce air transfer up to 76%. This means, your Attic Tent will pay for itself in one year, and save you money each year thereafter.

The Battic Door Attic Stair Cover Kit includes the rigid box (stair cover), rubber gasket, a reflective shield and optional R-50 insulation. The stair cover fits between trusses and is available in 3 sizes to fit most pull down ladders.  All kits include durable stair cover and weatherstripping and is easily installed in minutes with no tools. It is made in the USA from recycled materials.

Attic stair covers are an easy, affordable way to save energy and improve the air quality in your home.

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Backdraft Dampers: A Must Have for Ventilation Systems

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Backdraft dampers allow air to efficiently flow through exhaust ducts to the outside, yet prevent the unwanted flow of air into a house when the exhaust fans are off. damper2They stop cold air from coming in, allowing a more comfortable temperature in your home. These dampers are most often used in bathroom exhaust systems, clothes dryer vents, kitchen range hoods and microwaves.

Fantech sensitive spring-loaded backdraft dampers provide a good seal against backdrafts. They are easy to install and work without noise or vibration.

The Cape Damper from Tamarack is made of a metal duct with a fabric sleeve attached. It is a one way air flow valve, designed to overcome the inefficiencies and limitations of traditional gravity or butterfly dampers. It is quiet and can simply be installed in either a vertical or horizontal position.

Either option will help prevent outside air from leaking into your home and allow you to save on energy costs.

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Use Q-Lon Weatherstrip to Prevent Energy Loss from Doors

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Q-Lon Weatherstrip
Q-Lon Weatherstrip

A door’s weather seal can wear out over time, causing cold and costly drafts to flow into your home. A simple way to check if your doors have this problem is through a sight test. While the sun is out, if you can see light coming in through the door when it is closed, you definitely have an air leak on your hands.

You could also use a smoke pencil to identify drafts and air leaks.

Installing a q-lon weatherstrip is beneficial for a number of reasons:

  • Seals up to ½” gaps. Sealing air leaks from the door can reduce home energy loss up to 11%.
  • Reduces energy loss eases the burden on the heating/cooling systems, thus lowering bills.
  • Limits unwanted air exchanges in the home and provides more control over home temperatures.
  • Acts as both a sealant and a door stop.
  • Fits standard doors, but can be cut to fit smaller doors.

This type of door weatherstripping is comprised of polyethylene-clad urethane foam that remains flexible through temperatures as low as minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The foam is secured to an aluminum (metal/steel) or vinyl (PVC), carrier. The type of carrier that would be ideal for your home depends on the door that the weatherstrip will be installed on:

  • Aluminum: Heavy duty carrier that is ideal for metal or wood doors.
  • Vinyl: Suitable for use on doors that are not metal, steel, or wood.

Weatherproofing doors with a q-lon weatherstrip is an easy, inexpensive way to save on energy costs for your home.

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Spray Foam Insulation from Attic to Crawl Space

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spray foamSpray foam insulation saves on energy costs and lowers utility bills. Studies by the US Department of Energy show that 40% of a home’s energy is lost as the result of air infiltration through walls, windows and doorways. Buildings treated with spray foam insulation typically insulate up to 50% more than traditional insulation products.

Closed cell foam insulation is denser than open cell. It has a smaller, more compact cell structure. It is a very good air barrier as well as a water vapor barrier. It is often used in roofing projects or other outdoor applications, but can be used anywhere in the home, from your attic to your crawl space.

When the foam mix is sprayed onto your walls, floors, ceilings, and crawl spaces, the shell of your home becomes protected. This protection blocks heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter, thus preventing dramatic temperatures changes in the home. Correctly installed, insulation delivers comfort and lower energy bills during the hottest and coldest times of the year.

In addition to building temperature and moisture control, spray foam insulation is often used to reduce noise.

For installation tips, please visit the manufacturer’s YouTube video.

 

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What is 2-Part Foam?

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2-Part Spray Foams

Spray polyurethane foams (2-part foams) are made by mixing chemicals to react and create a foam, which happens very quickly. When this reaction occurs, the chemicals expand to create a foam that is excellent for gap filling, insulating and flotation. The mixture is also great for air seals and providing a moisture barrier. SPF insulation  resists heat transfer well, and usually provides a solution in reducing unwanted air infiltration through cracks, seams, and joints.

Spray polyurethane foam is made by combining two liquids during a chemical reaction to form a foam. The two liquids come in different containers. These two containers are generally referred to as the “A” side and the “B” side. The “A” side of the  system is typically methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (pMDI). The “B” side of the system is typically a blend of polyols, catalysts, blowing agent, flame retardant, and surfactant. Polyols are part of the chemical reaction to make the foam. The other ingredients in the “B” side serve help control the creation of the foam bubbles (“cells”) in the best way, and to provide the various characteristics of the finished product.

Homeowners use spray polyurethane foams both when retro-fitting or choosing insulation for a home because it saves on energy costs and improves comfort. Once the spray is applied, a cellular plastic forms and acts as a continuous barrier on walls, corners and contoured surfaces. SPF insulation is generally described as a high pressure foam or a low pressure foam and is available as “open-cell” or “closed-cell” foam, which have several major differences. Although they both have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the desired application requirements one will be best suited to your project. Here’s some comparisons between the two:

To learn more about how to buy the right spray foam for your project, view our buying guide.

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Does A CPDS Spray Foam Machine Need Special Foam?

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CPDS Spray Foam Dispensing Machine
CPDS Spray Foam Dispensing Machine

We were recently asked by a customer if they could use a 55 gallon drum  of foam material with the CPDS series 2 – the Constant Pressure Dispensing System Foam machine from Touch n Seal. It’s a valid question – he was probably trying to get the most foam dispensed and so the bigger the canister the better. However, the answer is NO. You need to get specific foam that will work with the manufacturer spray foam dispensing machine. In this case the manufacturer is Touch n Seal, and you would need to use either the 750 board foot fire retardant closed cell foam or the 1200 board foot open cell foam. Both come with an A and B tank which contains chemicals that are formulated to work specifically with the CPDS. So you can’t use this foam on its own.

Also the accessories such as gun dispensers and hose assemblies to be used with the spray foam machine are brand specific. So you would have to purchase ones made by Touch n Seal designed to work with the CPDS.

So when deciding to invest in the CPDS machine for your next spray foam project, be sure to make a list of all the components you would need and where you would source them.

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Plastic Storm Window Kits vs. Plastic Shrink and Seal Window Kits

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Weatherproof Windows
Weatherproof Windows

Weather proofing your windows is key to maintaining both a comfortable and energy efficient home in the coming winter months. But as you sit huddled in your overstuffed arm chair, bundled in blankets, trying to escape the chilly draft sneaking its way into your home, you may find yourself wondering where to begin. Plastic Storm Window Kits and Plastic Shrink and Seal Window Kits each offer their own pros and cons. But before you make your choice, let’s see how the two stack up in factors of cost, time, investment, and reuse.

Think of the weather proofing of your windows like buying a new winter coat. You can buy the bargain coat and it will do the job, but you’ll probably find yourself purchasing a new one as next winter approaches. Invest in a sturdier, slightly more costly coat and it will last you countless winters to come. Plastic Shrink and Seal Window Kits are the bargain buy of window weatherization. These offer a lower price than their counterpart, but only a single season of sealed windows. These kits come in the form of a plastic film that covers the windows surface, eliminating drafts, energy loss, and frost build-up. With just a little bit of trimming and a common household hair dryer, you’ll increase the R-value of your windows up to 90%. That’s more thermal resistance, for just a few dollars and a few minutes of installation time. If you’re looking for a quick fix at a low price, Plastic Shrink and Seal Window Kits may be the product for you.

Plastic Storm Window Kits are the investment winter coats of window weatherization. They’re slightly more costly upfront, but can be used for more than just the current chilly season. This kit includes a plastic spline and a channel system to produce the seal in the front of the window. Because of this process, the installation time is a bit more involved than for the speedy, bargain option. But with that comes the ability for them to be reused. With an investment of your time and money, you’ll be well on your way to saving anywhere from 10% to 15% on your energy bills. Because Plastic Storm Window Kits are sturdier than their Shrink and Seal counterparts, you’ll be able to enjoy their benefits for many winters to come.

Just like picking out a new winter coat, the choice between the Shrink and Seal versus the Plastic Storm Window kits is a matter of preference. Whether you’re in the market for a one season bargain or a pricier investment, you can rest assured, warm and comfortably, that your home will be more energy efficient. You’ll feel the difference!

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DIY Insulation: Closed Cell Spray Foam Kits

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Closed Cell Spray Foam Kits
Closed Cell Spray Foam Kits

If you live in North America, you’re probably experiencing record breaking cold temperatures this year. Related to that, you’re probably also seeing shocking energy bills. Lack of insulation is the main cause of high energy usage in homes and buildings. Spaces that don’t have insulation are the main trouble spots for loss of heat in the winter and also gain of heat in the summer. So do you hire an insulation contractor and shell out thousands of dollars? A good low-cost solution to insulating your home is via Do-It-Yourself Closed Cell Spray Foam Kits.

A spray foam kit comes with everything you need to insulate those trouble spots in your home or building. It contains a dispensing gun hose assembly as well as cones and nozzles to provide more control over the way it is sprayed. There are 2 types of spray foam available: closed cell and open cell. In closed cell foam, the cells of the chemical are closed and hence have a rigid and denser structure. Open cell foam by contrast has a more open cell structure and therefore has a more sponge like texture. As a result, closed cell foam has a higher R value than open cell foam. Another difference is closed cell foam acts as an air and water vapor barrier, whilst open cell foam is only suitable as an air barrier. Therefore, open cell foam is not recommended for use outside.

Closed Cell Spray Foam is very useful for insulating places such as: garages, rafters, walls and floors as well as roofing and outdoor projects. DIY Spray Foam Insulation comes variety of sizes such as 600, 200 and 15 Board Foot. Board foot just means that one 600 board foot kit will cover a 600 square foot area with 1 inch of foam. So whether you need to insulate a whole wall in your basement, or you just need to insulate a small area, there is spray foam size for your need. Another advantage of closed cell foam is that it comes in a Fire Retardant formula. This is useful because some city codes require insulation to have fire retardant formulas.

So if you’re looking for a low cost, do it yourself solution for insulating those cold areas of your home, Closed Cell Spray Foam is a great option. And if you’re unsure if you’re up to the task, there are plenty of instructional guides and videos available to help you.

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4 Energy Conservation Kit Tools That Also Keep You Warm

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Save Energy and Stay Warm

The holiday season is taking a break for the next 300-some-odd days, but the cold weather isn’t following. Keep the chill on the outside with an energy conservation kit. These kits – like a swiss army knife for combating drafts – are packed with supplies that properly insulate doors, windows, and other unintentional air entryways.

Foam Switch Gaskets, Outlet Gaskets, and Child Safety Caps

Unless every outlet is in use all the time (and I hope not, cause phantom energy loss can account for 5% of your home’s energy usage), those tiny slits in the wall are letting outside air slowly creep into your home. Along with outlets, the surrounding area behind the outlet and light switch plates also offer a way in for air. These leaks make the house colder than it should be and can cause energy loss of up to 20%.

Plastic Window Kit

Windows can let air in even when closed, but cold weather also makes them vulnerable to frost build-up and condensation. Plastic window kits, also known as shrink and seal window kits or window insulation kits, are installed over the entire window to provide airtight insulation from outside air. Kits are installed from the inside, and require a hair dryer (or some form of blowing heat) to “shrink and seal” film over the window. This method of insulation works on any type of window, is easy on the budget, and can increase R-Value (insulation level) by up to 90%.

Rope Caulk

Nearly every energy conservation kit features rope caulk, a substance is so easy to install a 5-year old could do it (we’re not kidding, just watch). Rope caulk is primarily used to combat cracks, gaps, and openings of every kind. Simply clean the area being sealed (remove dust, dirt, etc.), peel of the amount needed, and stick it into the open area. I think of it as 2-minute insulation.

The benefits of rope caulk don’t stop at insulation:

  • It’s cheap!
  • It’s durable through most weather conditions, so you don’t have to worry about it cracking during cold months
  • Just as easy as it is to install is how easy it is to remove (and clean up after), making this an easy insulation answer for renters

Door and Window Foam Tape

Foam tape is best used with sliding or swinging doors and windows. The tape blocks outside air by sealing the open space between the edges/side of doors and windows. Foam tape installs easily and is very cost effective.

Putting an energy conservation kit to good use – the gaskets, child safety caps, plastic window kits, rope caulk, and foam tape – will go a long way towards stabilizing the temperature in your home, saving energy and preventing energy loss, and allow you to subtract a few dollars from that energy bill.